Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Terror For Dummies Top 10


It’s funny how the terms “terrorism” or “mass murder” are only applied when the group or individual carrying out deadly acts of violence have an agenda that isn’t tied to money or profit. Say you wanted to dump deadly chemicals and radioactive materials into the world’s water supplies for reasons having to do with foreign policy, strong religious convictions, or you’re just having a bad day. Perhaps you’re feeling a little more genocidal than usual and want to bring about drought, famine, increased carbon emissions and civil strife to every corner of the world. Maybe you’re pissed off by polar bears and Palestinians in equal measure. In any case, you want to do something drastic and spectacular to hasten the demise of life on this planet as we know it. Still, whatever you do, don’t act on your homicidal impulses for any of the stated reasons above unless suicide, execution or life imprisonment is part of your agenda. Instead, follow these easy steps towards realizing your dream of inflicting endless terror and untold misery upon the earth and everything on it still clinging wretchedly to life.

Step 1

Stop yammering on about “Jihad”, your asshole ex-boss, multiculturalism, the Rockefellers, Chechnya and all that other old hat, creepy loner fanatic shit. You don’t want to see the results of your handiwork from a dingy death row cell. Picture yourself instead whizzing past drowning Somalis on your power yacht and/or waving to incinerated Bangladeshi garment workers from Tony Blair’s pimped out private jet. It’s a lot more fun than living alone in the woods or trapped inside a walled in compound in Pakistan with a bunch of wives.

Step 2

Try to avoid long, rambling handwritten manifestos outlining your Luddite worldview. Draft instead a press release to the New York Times outlining the necessity of invading yet another oil rich country on “humanitarian” grounds. But first you’ll have to . . .

Step 3

. . . fester a few years in a “think tank” and come up with ingenious ways to convince the populace that healthcare, clean air and living wages are not in their best interests. But endless war and tax breaks for the rich are. Try not to laugh too hard in front of a camera when one of your buddies gesticulates with his penis to illustrate “trickle down” economics.

Step 4

Dress nice. Sometimes that means wearing a plus sized JC Penney mint green pant suit and a girlish headband while delivering ultimatums to dictators you had lunch with a few weeks previously. Remind your enemies that “all options are on the table” . . . some of them have even left a gravy stain on your floral blouse.

Step 5

Try not to talk about the US’s role in erecting a global surveillance apparatus to monitor its own citizens, spy on its allies and intercept the world’s e-mails, texts and chats as a means of asserting complete control via an information gathering panopticon that uses unmanned drones to take out “enemy combatants”. Even if your moral and principled stance on foreign policy compels you to chain yourself to a nuclear facility or an endangered tree stump, public support for your endeavor lasts only as long as it takes a celebutard to be pissed on in a sex tape. Remember that the world is not going to suddenly stop delving into the real meaning of Breaking Bad because you got up one day, didn’t shave or comb your hair and made a symbolic gesture.

Step 6

Whenever possible, try to be born into wealth and privilege before you start racking up a significant body count. But being an “elected” official helps, too. Nepotism is the most guaranteed route to success, but knowing who to flatter and who to fellate helps, too. Become BFF with the Canadian Prime Minister. (It’s best, though, not to imagine him in Leiderhosen stroking a hairless cat.) Strike a groveling pose whenever an Israeli official comes into view. But be prepared to neither sit or shit comfortably for a week. It also helps if you have an intimate crony relationship with the ruling party of Japan and the mobster subcontractors responsible for hiring the cheap labor to clean up the radioactive swill inside damaged nuclear power plants.

Step 7

Build a pipeline on indigenous land, and make sure it leaks foul smelling carcinogenic effluvia into the lakes, rivers and ground waters of their ancestral lands, which just happen to stand in the way of your fracking. This is almost as clever as building a bunch of nuclear reactors on a seismically unstable island prone to typhoons and tsunamis. Expand your empire of military bases, oil refineries, pipelines and poppy plantations, and just drone strike any brown person wandering too close to your “strategic” interests. Sometimes it works to host an Olympics to make pesky citizens less wary about the slow and painful deaths they will face on a toxic island waste dump surrounded by a dead ocean.

Step 8

Go to Davostan, which is a base camp for high ranking terrorists. Only they don’t have to fire old Soviet assault weapons in some remote desert as training for carrying out mass murder. Participants at ‘Davos’ tend to stand around politely discussing the most profitable ways of transforming the global workforce into indentured servitude, prison labor and “sustainable” energy for their luxury cars and yachts. Just don’t call security if a sweaty and unshaven Irishman in pink wraparound shades accosts you while Dr Evil is delivering his keynote address on how to get African children to dig faster for the minerals that power our mobile devices.

Step 9

Now that you’ve met al-Bono, it’s time to talk about “philanthropy”. Think of it as a rallying slogan just like “jihad” only scarier for its recipients since they first have to endure decades of colonialism and its attendant plundering of their natural resources, civil wars, droughts and famines. Philanthropy is when you send a few malaria nets to an orphanage where celebrity’s children are incubated. Covering small children in nets prevents them from asking why they are being eaten alive by plague carrying pests smack in the middle of a war zone in the first place.

Step 10

If your friends, loved ones, former co-workers and neighbors describe you as “bat shit insane”, it might be time to bring the crazy down a notch. Resist the temptation of telling them how twerking was devised by Henry Kissinger at last year’s Bilderburg meeting. Avoid spelling it all out in the comment section of a YouTube cat video. This is just going to ignite a lot of Facebook speculation after your arrest and conviction about the lack of resources for the mentally ill. If you have something to say, save it for a Power Point presentation produced by JJ Abrams and the folks at Pixar. Lay out your bid for world domination and mass extinction in language that regular folks can relate to. Show them a shiny new Audi. Grow a pair of big tits. Win a World Cup title. You’re not going to launch global Armageddon by being a Debbie Downer. Luckily for us, very few people equate “insane” or even “dangerous” with a desire to amass the lion’s share of the world’s wealth, squander its resources, poison its water supplies, imprison and enslave its most vulnerable populations, and hasten the extinction of species vital to our very existence.

Tell someone you hired Navy Seals to secure the perimeters of your waterfront property in the Hamptons and they’ll likely envy you. Hell, they’ll probably want to bang you. Tell them why some people have the luxury of living in abject fear in a stadium-sized mansion, while the majority struggle just to make ends meet, they will again lament the nation’s rubber room shortage. In short, limit your insane rantings to shareholder meetings, the op-ed pages of the NYT, or when you have to make a State of the Union address.

Jennifer Matsui is a freelance writer living in Tokyo. She can be reached at:

Jennifer Matsui is a writer living in Tokyo.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


October 26, 2016
John W. Whitehead
A Deep State of Mind: America’s Shadow Government and Its Silent Coup
Anthony Tarrant
On the Unbearable Lightness of Whiteness
Luke O'Brien
The Churchill Thing: Some Big Words About Trump and Some Other Chap
Mark Weisbrot
The Most Dangerous Place in the World: US Pours in Money, as Blood Flows in Honduras
Eric Draitser
Dear Liberals: Trump is Right
Chris Welzenbach
The Establishment and the Chattering Hack: a Response to Nicholas Lemann
Sabia Rigby
In the “Jungle:” Report from the Refugee Camp in Calais, France
Linn Washington Jr.
Pot Decriminalization Yields $9-million in Savings for Philadelphia
Pepe Escobar
“America has lost” in the Philippines
Pauline Murphy
Political Feminism: the Legacy of Victoria Woodhull
Lizzie Maldonado
The Burdens of World War III
David Swanson
Slavery Was Abolished
Thomas Mountain
Preventing Cultural Genocide with the Mother Tongue Policy in Eritrea
Colin Todhunter
Agrochemicals And The Cesspool Of Corruption: Dr. Mason Writes To The US EPA
October 25, 2016
David Swanson
Halloween Is Coming, Vladimir Putin Isn’t
Hiroyuki Hamada
Fear Laundering: an Elaborate Psychological Diversion and Bid for Power
Priti Gulati Cox
President Obama: Before the Empire Falls, Free Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
Kathy Deacon
Plus ça Change: Regime Change 1917-1920
Robin Goodman
Appetite for Destruction: America’s War Against Itself
Richard Moser
On Power, Privilege, and Passage: a Letter to My Nephew
Rev. William Alberts
The Epicenter of the Moral Universe is Our Common Humanity, Not Religion
Dan Bacher
Inspector General says Reclamation Wasted $32.2 Million on Klamath irrigators
David Mattson
A Recipe for Killing: the “Trust Us” Argument of State Grizzly Bear Managers
Derek Royden
The Tragedy in Yemen
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think
Norman Pollack
Centrist Fascism: Lurching Forward
Guillermo R. Gil
Cell to Cell Communication: On How to Become Governor of Puerto Rico
Mateo Pimentel
You, Me, and the Trolley Make Three
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
October 24, 2016
John Steppling
The Unwoke: Sleepwalking into the Nightmare
Oscar Ortega
Clinton’s Troubling Silence on the Dakota Access Pipeline
Patrick Cockburn
Aleppo vs. Mosul: Media Biases
John Grant
Humanizing Our Militarized Border
Franklin Lamb
US-led Sanctions Targeting Syria Risk Adjudication as War Crimes
Paul Bentley
There Must Be Some Way Out of Here: the Silence of Dylan
Norman Pollack
Militarism: The Elephant in the Room
Patrick Bosold
Dakota Access Oil Pipeline: Invite CEO to Lunch, Go to Jail
Paul Craig Roberts
Was Russia’s Hesitation in Syria a Strategic Mistake?
David Swanson
Of All the Opinions I’ve Heard on Syria
Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future